1. The story of how I bought 10kg diving lamps, and “threw them out”, because of an innovation…
My name is Szabolcs Szikra, and I am the owner of the factory that manufactures the Sparklights Action Light products. In the last twenty years, we improved our company, from a little one into a firm that has more than 300 employees. We mainly manufacture electronic constituents for cars and domestic appliances.
With some of my colleagues we have started to go diving many years ago. Mostly, I make diving videos and pictures under the water, as well.
As it was said by a smart friend of ours, who is a photographer: “Because of the lack of light you can only make proper pictures under the water, if a lightning strikes next to you”. Actually, this is not true, but in order to make pictures and videos under the water you definitely need many components, such as intense artificial light with a proper color temperature and optimal light conditions.
For my hobby, I tried to buy the best devices that I could afford, such as lamps and flashes. However, as I have experienced, most of the devices were very expensive and I had to buy many different types of lamps in order to be able to record what I can see under the water, in every possible condition. Moreover, in most cases I had to buy at least two pieces of each type. As you know, for making proper videos under the water you must shed light on the certain object from more different angles (I will give more details about this in our blog…).
First of all, I bought a 10° search spot light, but as you know, one is never enough so I bought another one, as well. Unfortunately, this was not suitable for recording videos because it burned the middle of the pictures, but behind the object there was complete darkness, thus, I bought another lamp that covered 120°. Sadly, one was not enough from this device either so I needed to buy a second one, this made me think that I will never need any other lamps, because these will help me in taking the most beautiful pictures.
Later, at a holiday near the Red Sea, a friend of mine showed me his new diving lamp that he bought This lamp was special, as it emitted UV light. You might think that UV light is only used at bars or by the cashiers in the banks to check the validity of banknotes. In fact, this is not true. Most of the corals just like other animals in the sea, illuminate gorgeously if they are exposed to UV light, due to the biofluorescence in their bodies (we will write about this in our blog, as well…). Because of this experience I decided to buy another lamp. Fortunately, at the Christmas holiday my 2 new UV lamps were delivered, which made me very delightful, so I was eager to go diving again, but as this occurred in winter I still had to wait for months, to do this.
While I was waiting, I decided to do a research on what kind of other diving lamps are available in order to buy every necessary type. I read that most of the animals in the water are not capable of seeing the red color. As it is known by the divers, the red color vanishes from the water 5 meters below the surface. Thus, for these animals seeing the red color is not useful at all, so this was taken from them during the evolution. Because of that, the animals in the sea are not bothered by a red lamp, because they do not see it, at all, not even at night. This encouraged me to buy 2 red lamps.
Finally, in the next spring, I went to make my first diving of the season. As usual, I gathered all of my equipment. I always put this equipment on the floor of my basement, and check them, as being a diver I need so many devices to take with me and it is very hard to keep all of them in mind. After I laid all of my diving devices onto the floor: two flashes, 8 lamps, the batteries for them, the spare batteries, storage cells, the chargers for the storage cells, the fasteners for my devices, I saw that their weight and volume were nearly equal to the size of my whole diving equipment. Needless to say, I had to buy another bag for my photo-taking and video-recording devices. This obeyed me to take two heavy packages with me to my trips. This cost extra money and I also had to face many difficulties when I travelled somewhere by an airplane, as my diving equipment was too heavy, not to mention the size and weight of my photo-taking lamps. Thus, I had to begin thinking about finding a solution to this issue.
Due to this fact and to our two-decades-experience in the manufacturing of industrial products, we decided to create lamps for diving that are smaller, more versatile and less expensive than the ones available on the market.
In the last 1,5 year, we made a design team that contains the following members: an electric engineer (Mihály Vágó), a mechanical engineer (Szabolcs Szikra, RESCUE diver), a product and tool designer engineer (Zoltán Czabai, RESCUE diver), a leader for the tool making (Ádám Horváth), a project manager (Adrián Darók) and the Adriadive DC’s (Croatia) owner and dive guide (István Tóth, Instruction Trainer). We designed, created and tested a multifunctional product family of lamps (Sparklights Action Light) with accessories for them.
We also put great emphasis on safe working, small design to avoid problems in moving, high output, to make the lamp be chargeable without any need to disassemble it so that the lamp became waterproof, and to make a wide range of portfolio that fulfills every demand.
In order to develop the most reliable and high quality products, in the last 1,5 year we designed, manufactured and tested many lamps with different specifications, after that we learnt from our mistakes, then corrected them, and we made this again and again, now we have created the final, 21st version of our lamp. We tested more than hundred lamps, which took part in diving more than thousand times. This was helped by Erika Szikráné Fekete (AOWD), István Tóth (Instructor Trainer), Béla Túri (Instruction Trainer), Zoltán Száva (Instruction Trainer), and by nearly 50 divers, who used and tested these products.
Those products that belong to the Sparklights Action Light product family, in spite of their little size, they contain all the functions that have only been available in different products (spot light, video-photo light for making videos, UV and Blue light for biofluorescence, red light for discretion), it can be charged by a simple smartphone charger, does not need any spare batteries, thus I have to take a lot less equipment with me but still all of my demands are fulfilled.
Nowadays, I can carry my lamps in my pockets, and I can go diving with only one bag, again.